The next city to get some surgery to help restore Iraq’s former glory is Najaf, a city of more than half a million inhabitants about 160km south of Baghdad, and home to the religiously important Imam Ali Shrine.
Work on the historic center should begin soon and is expected to be completed on time for the city to celebrate its status as Islamic Capital of Culture 2012, reports Aknews.
The city is getting around USD500m fromthe Iraqi government to prepare for next year’s festivities. Two companies will repave part of the center, and will refurbish the facades of buildings.
The changes to be made are not just cosmetic, however. To further reduce the huge housing supply problem in Iraq, and Najaf itself, 545 new homes are to be built, along with education and shopping facilities.